Good Morning, Mr. Stephen Ayesu Ntim, National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Even though you and I have no communication problems, the issue at hand is so volatile and so desperate that the only way you can be jerked into action is to know that the whole country is talking about the same issue.
The background is that in 1992, Ghana went to Civilian Constitutional rule. Party Politics was restored and the biggest problem was who should lead the party at both the national and constituency levels.
If you like you can form your own party, and be the undisputed presidential candidate – no problem, but if you represent or belong to a wider spectrum of believers in a common faith, like the New Patriotic Party, then the biggest issue is HOW to elect the leaders of the party.
JJ Rawlings founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC) so he went unchallenged for two terms as the presidential candidate, but we, of the “Capitalist” fraternity, development in freedom people – the bane of our problems has ALWAYS been the selection of our principal leaders.
Initially, the Electoral Colleges at all levels were small, but after pressure, in 2002 or thereabouts, we expanded the Electoral Colleges at all levels.
Still, THAT IS NOT ENOUGH, Chairman. LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE. Open all doors. Let ALLL CARD-BEARING MEMBERS DECIDE, Chairman.
In Ghana today, our democracy is practiced only in the election of the President and Members of Parliament. The actual decision makers, the foot soldiers of the local administration – Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) – they are NOT elected, but appointed from the top!!!!
So, we are operating a winner takes all system, where the President, one man, sitting in Accra, does literally everything.
Chairman, don’t let anybody deceive you. Just take a cool cold hard look at the 2020 General Elections and you will see that the NDC, our opponents, are NOT a walkover party at all.
Me, Captain, I don’t like our opponents one bit, and I will NEVER vote for them, but there are over 20 million qualified voters all over the country.
Just look at the Parliament we have today – almost equal in number – power in the balance; very, very delicate balance. If we don’t get our mathematics right, 2024 will be a terrible disaster for us.
Chairman, there are some seats for the NPP, but those safe seats alone cannot give us the majority in Parliament. We need the swing seats, and over there, in the swing areas like Greater Accra, Central Region and others, it is the LOCAL issues that decide.
You cannot control the number of people who want to go to Parliament, so, whatever it takes, Constitutional amendment or whatever, do it and announce that anybody who wants to contest for Parliament should file his/her papers, then let every card-bearing member of the party cast his/her vote for him or her, the result will be a candidate elected by the popular will of the party.
You see, Chairman, as I write, some Ghanaians are busily saving money for “primaries” – the Electoral Colleges are manageable so even if you burn some currencies and rake in billions, and dole them out, you will win and presto – you are in Parliament – unless the defeated party candidate decides to go as “Independent” and create problems for us – like Shabba did to Okerchiri in Nkawkaw, and like the current Second Deputy Speaker did in the Ashanti Region.
Chairman, please, in Europe and in America there is nothing like this, “Electoral Colleges” nonsense. All card-bearing members must vote in the primaries to choose broad-based candidates for the party.
The Akans have a proverb that goes: “If you don’t know death, look at sleep,” and remember the writing on the wall. If the NPP wants to break the “8” cycle; if we want the new generation of voters built up over the 8 years, then, let us do practicals or mock elections by opening the floodgates – every card-bearing member of the party should vote in the primaries for member of Parliaments (MPs) and a President, then, Chairman, every political scientists, including Ben Ephson and Prince Bonaventure, will tell you our popularly elected candidates will successfully break the 8 jinx.
I am sorry, but Chairman, if you don’t take this suggestion serious, what will happen is – business as usual. People with big money will buy their way through primaries, then the NPP will do a lack lustre campaign and voting, and the NDC will whip us massively in 2024, God forbid, and thereafter it will take a whole generation to unseat the NDC.
Chairman, a word to the wise is enough. If you don’t know death, look at sleep. And, Chairman, with the greatest respect, pardon me, but you don’t need to be slapped before you see the writing on the wall.
Have a nice day, Stephen Ayesu Ntim.
Written by Nkrabeah EffahDartey